Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
pregnant woman

A J-Pouch Pregnancy

I hate visiting the doctor. Always have. Especially since being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.  But last week, I got to hear my baby’s heartbeat. I have appointments that take on a positive spin and it’s amazing. The worst thing about the appointment was the blood draw. Those are always difficult for me anyway because I have small veins that are shy and mischievous. I left there with several bruises and a report that I needed to stay on top of my hydration (thanks, j-pouch!)… but that’s ok because I know my baby is ok.

Worries about passing on IBD to the baby

I’ve been obsessing over the baby’s development since I learned I was pregnant. I wait with anticipation each week… your baby is the size of a poppyseed, appleseed–all the way to where he/she is now: a plum. During week 10 I said some prayers for him. That was the week that his intestines were developing. I often worry about passing IBD on to baby… because my mom passed it on to me. But I have heard that it’s actually kind of rare for that to happen (according to a doctor friend of mine!).

The pains of pregnancy are similar to what I’ve been through with UC


When I first discovered I was pregnant, I really thought it would be a breeze compared to living with ulcerative colitis. I thought, Oh, I’ve dealt with nausea, vomiting, lots of pooping, exhaustion and pain before! No biggie. Sadly, I was very, very wrong. Not that being pregnant is a total nightmare, I’m not saying that. But it’s different. It’s not like anything else I’ve ever felt or experienced. I mentioned in a previous post that because of the nausea, vomiting and lack of a proper appetite, I believe it has triggered some PTSD episodes. Morning sickness is no walk in the park. And just because you’ve experienced extreme exhaustion in the past because of your disease, that does not make it any easier when it strikes again. Exhaustion will always be exhaustion. Nausea will always be nausea. Vomiting will always be vomiting. All of these are unpleasant.

J-pouch vs baby

Right now, I feel like my baby and my j-pouch are competing for my attention. Baby wants food, makes me nauseated and wears me out. Obviously, baby is constantly on my mind. Well, the j-pouch likes to remind me that it’s there, too. Lately, the gas pain and the frequency and consistency have been a nightmare. Just when I get to the point where I don’t have to get up at night to go the the bathroom very often, my j-pouch changes it’s mind and says, “NO! WE HAVE TO GO NOW!” Every night. No mercy. Which means more butt burn and a more difficult time keeping hydrated. It’s maddening.

Looking forward to the second trimester

It still doesn’t seem real. Despite all the crazy things that come with pregnancy, I’m constantly being reminded that in the end it will all be worth it. Because, unlike UC, I will have the blessing of a baby in the end. Soon all the pain, frustration and vomiting will be but a memory and I’ll be holding my little one in my arms. I hear the second trimester (which starts at 14 weeks) is the easiest one. And I’m very much looking forward to that!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    11 months ago

    Thank you for writing this. I appreciate your transparency and honesty. I think it’s important to remember that yes, although some with IBD find pregnancy to be a “breeze,” for others, it isn’t so. Pregnancy can be quite difficult especially on top of having IBD and I love that you point this out through your experience. It is also lovely, that you remind us that in this case however, you get to receive quite an amazing gift at the end of the “struggle.”

    Wishing you the best!

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • Poll